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croquants {ffwd}

croquants

Don’t you love a snow day? Even though you could choose on any day to be lazy and just stay at home and putter, a snow day gives you permission, absolving you of the guilty feeling a self-imposed lazy day might bring on. I also love the relative quiet that a travel ban brings on. The sound of our and our neighbors’ snow blowers might pepper the air, but no one is out driving around except the snow plows.

The Day After

I have a dog who loves (insists on) walks, so even the winter storm (blizzard?) called Juno didn’t keep us home. With no traffic, we can safely walk down our normally very busy street (it’s actually a state highway) to get to quiet side streets. I find it peaceful to walk in the solitude of a neighborhood where most people are sheltering indoors. My very furry dog Bella is in her element, except for her frustration when mountains of snow prevent us from walking on the unpaved parts of our usual routes.

This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie offered the perfect activity for when I was back inside the warm house. I baked a batch of croquants, a meringue-y nut-filled cookie.

Calling for just four ingredients, these cookies couldn’t be easier. The nuts are barely chopped. The egg whites don’t even need to be whipped. The nuts are tossed with sugar before stirring in the egg whites and then the flour. I used my smallest cookie scoop to form small mounds on parchment-lined baking sheets.

nuts and sugar

The croquants puff up and transform into light and slightly chewy delights. I loved the big pieces of nuts glued together with the meringue-like dough. I used a half hazelnuts (cut in half) and almonds (cut in halves or thirds crosswise). I’m intrigued to try the cashews Dorie mentioned as well as pecans and maybe macadamia nuts. So many possibilities!

Dough

I’d never heard of croquants before. They were new to me, and yet familiar. Croquants remind me of several different confections I enjoy. The texture reminds me of the almond macaroons I get at the Italian bakery. I was also reminded of the divinity candy I was obsessed with making when I was in high school. Most of all, they remind me of the Forgotten Kisses my mother used to make with chocolate chips. Now that I think of it, I wonder how croquants would be with chocolate chips instead of the nuts or with a mix of half and half…

The review from the resident chocoholic was this: “They’re not my top choice (no chocolate), but they are really good cookies”. A backhanded compliment, but praise nonetheless, so I definitely plan on making croquants again!

Check out my French Fridays friends’ links at French Fridays with Dorie. We don’t post the recipes, but you can find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

And for anyone who missed it on Facebook, here’s a photo from our breakfast at Area Four with Tricia and Mr. Tricia when they were in town two weekends ago.

Tricia3

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